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Turkish prosecutor threatens legal action against critics of bid to ban ruling party

[JURIST] Turkish Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya [official profile, in Turkish] said on Wednesday that critics of his decision to seek the disbanding of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish] could face legal action. Yalcinkaya, who earlier this month petitioned the country's Constitutional Court to disband the AKP [JURIST report] and bar 71 politicians, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC profiles], from holding political office for five years, directed his comments at government officials and media agencies. On Monday, the Constitutional Court unanimously voted [JURIST report] to hear Yalcinkaya’s case.

The Constitutional Court has banned several Islamist parties in the past for violating constitutional obligations to respect Turkey's strict secular principles. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said last Saturday that a decision to ban the AKP could create an obstacle [JURIST report] to Turkey's bid to become a member of the EU [JURIST news archive]. Reuters has more.

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